Sessionals Vote to Ratify their Collective Agreement

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We are writing to inform you that the results of the Unit 2 Tentative Agreement vote have been tallied.

Members have voted 89% in favour to ratify the Tentative Agreement.

The Employer must also conduct its own ratification vote in this process.  That vote is scheduled to take place at the December 17th Board of Governor’s meeting.  Until  the Employer ratifies the Tentative Agreement, the Collective Agreement that expired on August 31, 2020, is still in effect.

Members who would like to view the new Tentative Agreement prior to its final ratification by the Employer are welcome to contact to obtain a privileged link to view the Tentative Agreement.

On Behalf of everyone involved in negotiating this agreement, we thank you very much for your participation. Please monitor your emails for further developments as we are always looking for ways to engage and consult with Unit 2 members about their working conditions at McMaster.

In solidarity,

Sharoni Mitra

President, CUPE 3906

Mollie McGuire

Vice President, CUPE 3906

Ratification Meeting and Vote Details

Brad WalchukUncategorized

This is a reminder that we will be holding an online Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM) tomorrow, November 25, at 1:00 PM EST. The purpose of this meeting is to present the details of the tentative agreement reached by your Unit 2 Bargaining Team and McMaster University.

In order to preserve the security and confidentiality of our SGMM, registration for this meeting will be required. Please note that you must register with your McMaster email address before 1 PM tomorrow. 

To register for this SGMM, click the following link:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the meeting tomorrow at 1:00 PM.

***PLEASE NOTE: While we would strongly encourage all Unit 2 members to attend tomorrow’s SGMM, this is NOT a requirement to cast your ballot for or against ratification. Voting on the tentative agreement will be open to ALL Unit 2 members in good standing – not just those who attend the SGMM – and occur online, via Helios Voting. 

By now, all eligible Unit 2 members should have received their ballot and other information required to vote from Helios (to their McMaster email address). This includes a link to the full text of the new agreement, with all changes highlighted so that each voter can cast their ballot based on informed choice. The ballot will remain closed until after tomorrow’s SGMM, around 2:00 PM EST. You will be notified via email once voting has begun. Voting will close at 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, November 26.

If you believe you are eligible to vote but still have yet to receive your ballot, please email us at ASAP. Please also get in touch if you have trouble registering for the SGMM via the link provided above.

Out of respect to Unit 2 members, no details about the Collective Agreement will be released until such time as the tentative agreement may be formally presented to Unit 2 members at the SGMM.

On behalf of the CUPE 3906 Executive and the entire Bargaining Team, we would like to thank members for their support during this difficult round of negotiations.  A deal would not have been possible without your ongoing support.

Tentative Agreement Secured

Brad WalchukUncategorized

After several days of negotiation in conciliation, your Unit 2 Bargaining Team has reached a tentative agreement with the Employer.

Details of the tentative agreement will be presented at an online Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM), which will be held on Nov 25, 2020 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada).

Voting on the tentative agreement will be online and will occur immediately following the SGMM and will continue until  Nov 26, 2020 5:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada).

We will send more details in a separate e-mail to members about how to participate in the SGMM (held via Zoom) and the ratification vote (held via Helios Voting).  Please note that, due to the pandemic health and safety measures, no meeting or voting will be conducted in person.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please note that, out of respect to Unit 2 members, no details about the Collective Agreement will be released until such time as the tentative agreement may be formally presented to Unit 2 members at the SGMM.

On behalf of the CUPE 3906 executive and the entire Bargaining Team, we would like to thank members for their support during this difficult round of negotiations.  A deal would not have been possible without your ongoing support.


Your CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Bargaining Team

Sessional Faculty: It’s Conciliation Day!

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Our Unit 2 Bargaining Team is meeting with the Employer today for ongoing negotiations with the McMaster University Administration. These negotiations are part of a process called conciliation, which precedes a strike or lockout and is assisted by a government-appointed Conciliation Officer.

There are a few outstanding issues at the table.  First and foremost is the Employer’s position on proration—that is, the Employer’s ability to determine, arbitrarily and unilaterally, the amount of work involved in teaching a course (and, by implication, the amount of stipend a member should be paid for teaching).  The Union is absolutely opposed to this position.

The Bargaining Team will provide an update for members following our Conciliation Session today (November 16th).  Please check your emails for updates, and follow us on social media (@cupe3906 and @cupe_3906).

To support your Bargaining Team and to join our strike committee, please contact Sylvia at mobilizer@cupe3906.orgYou can also attend tomorrow’s strike committee meeting, happening via Zoom at 1pm EST. Click here to join the meeting. We hope to see you there!

In solidarity,

Your CUPE 3906 Bargaining Team

Media Coverage in the Sil

Brad WalchukUncategorized

“Recently, several issues have arisen between the union and the university. The previous collective agreement for Unit 2 members expired on Aug. 31, 2020, which prompted negotiations with McMaster to develop a new agreement.

Sharoni Mitra, president of CUPE 3906, said that the new agreement entails various concerns from sessional faculty members such as better job security, benefits, working conditions, teaching assistant training and compensation for the extra technological support required in a remote environment during this time.

From Oct. 14 to 16, the union held a strike vote amongst its Unit 2 members. Members voted 81 per cent in favour of a strike mandate for the bargaining committee if negotiations with McMaster fail.

This does not necessarily mean that a strike will occur, but votes from members signal to the union that members are prepared to strike should negotiations with McMaster fail to meet members’ needs.”

The full article can be found here.

Conciliation TODAY

Brad WalchukUncategorized

We’re ready to secure a fair and reasonable agreement for Sessionals that reflects their vital contributions to McMaster and recognizes their service to the university.



Conciliation Update

Brad WalchukUncategorized

The CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Bargaining Team met in conciliation with the Employer on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 and Wednesday, October 21, 2020.  “Conciliation” refers to contract negotiations that are assisted by a government-appointed Conciliation Officer, who tries to help the parties reach agreement before they can initiate a strike or lockout deadline.

The implications of the Conservative Party’s Bill 124 continued to make negotiations difficult and frustrating for both parties.  The legislation limits compensation to 1% per year over the first 3 years of a contract.

Aside from the implications of Bill 124, the Employer refused to cede ground on job security, training, and the proration of 3-unit positions.

Both parties are returning to the table in the near future to continue negotiations.  The Bargaining team would like to thank members again for the strong show of support through the 81% strike mandate.


Brad WalchukUncategorized

Hamilton, ON— The front-line instructors responsible for a significant proportion of undergraduate teaching at McMaster University have concluded a strike vote after three days of socially distant voting.  Sessional Faculty and Hourly-Rated Sessional Music Faculty at McMaster University, comprising CUPE Local 3906 (Unit 2), voted 81% in favour of providing their Bargaining Committee with a strike mandate should negotiations the table with the McMaster Administration fail.

A historic number of members participated in the vote between October 14th and October 16th, which was held online due to pandemic safety measures and restricted access to the University campus.  The Bargaining Team is overwhelmed that so many members participated in the vote. “We are grateful that members demonstrated such strong support for the Union’s proposals on the table,” says Sharoni Mitra, the Local’s President, “especially given the pressures and stress that members already face due to the pandemic, the increasingly precarious nature of employment at postsecondary institutions, and the restrictions imposed on front-line public sector workers by the Ford government’s legislation.”

This 81% mandate highlights the Employer’s need to take members’ concerns to heart immediately or face job action.  Proposals that erode job security and make already precarious work more piecemeal must be removed from the table.  The Employer must work with the Union to find ways to support members’ access to the training and resources they need to continue providing the teaching excellence on which McMaster prides itself.  Finally, proposals that address members’ fundamental needs—such as improvements to basic health funds and a promise not to reduce positions in the move to online teaching—must not be neglected in such volatile times where front-line workers everywhere are struggling.

The results of this vote do not mean that a strike is forthcoming, but do empower the bargaining team to call a strike should negotiations not provide meaningful gains to members. The next step in the bargaining process is conciliation, in which a provincially appointed conciliation officer will meet with the parties.  Conciliation is scheduled on Tuesday, October 20th, and Wednesday, October 21st, 2020.  More days may be scheduled if progress continues and the Parties agree to meet.

Local 3906 is eager to put the support of its members into action at the bargaining table and is committed to membership engagement throughout the process. Please watch for our updates and additional bargaining support initiatives.

CUPE Local 3906 (Unit 2) represents over 500 Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Strike Vote Instructions and Eligibility

Brad WalchukUncategorized

Important Information for CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Members Regarding the Unit 2 Strike Vote and Strike Vote Special General Membership Meeting (SGMM), 2020. The SGMM is occurring on Wednesday, October 14th, at 2:00 P.M. Strike Vote voting will begin immediately following the SGMM, and will be available online (via “Helios Voting”) until 5:00 P.M. on Friday, October 16th, 2020.
Due to the health and safety concerns presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Employer’s guidelines restricting access to the campus during the pandemic, there will be no in-person meeting and no opportunity to vote in person. We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

 Who can vote in a CUPE 3906 Unit 2 [Sessional Faculty and Hourly Rated Sessional Music Faculty (HRSMF)] strike vote?
Only members of CUPE 3906 Unit 2 (Sessional Faculty and HRSMF) may vote in a Unit 2 strike vote. The following members of Unit 2 may vote in a strike vote:
i. Members who are working as Sessional Faculty and HRSMF this term;
ii. Members who hold an Appointment to teach as a Sessional Faculty and HRSMF from Sept 1, 2020-Aug 31, 2021; (please email to obtain a ballot; please note that we will request a copy of your appointment letter as proof of appointment)
iii. “Political” members of the union (i.e., members who have held a contract work as a Sessional Faculty and/or HRSMF in the last two academic terms—i.e., winter 2020 or spring/summer 2020).

• Unit 2 members will receive a link to pre-register for an online “Zoom” meeting via email for our Strike Vote SGMM on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020, at 2:00 P.M. Please note that you must pre-register for the meeting. If you do not find an email outlining how to preregister in your McMaster email account, please check your “spam” and/or “other” folder. If you require further assistance, please contact us immediately at or
• Upon the conclusion of the SGMM Unit 2 members will receive a “voter ID” and password to vote via McMaster email from an online platform called “Helios”. [According to Article 12 (a) of our bylaws, voting must begin upon
the conclusion of the meeting.] • Helios is the most user-friendly and secure voting platform the Local has found. For more information about Helios, please visit
• Once the polls are open, you will be able to log in (using your pre-registered link) and cast your vote either in favour or opposed to the strike vote question: “Do you give your CUPE 3906 Unit 2 Bargaining Committee permission to call a strike in the event that talks break down at the bargaining table?”
• Your vote will then be encrypted and logged anonymously. Your email and username will only grant you access to the polls and will not be associated with your vote, nor will it be used or sold by Helios voting thereafter. Once the polls are closed, Helios will automatically tally the results. Two scrutineers will be elected at the Unit 2 SGMM. These elected scrutineers will meet to review the results before results will be made known to members.
• If you have questions or concerns about this process, or if you did not receive a ballot from Helios via email to your McMaster email address, please contact us at,, or Please check your McMaster email address “spam” and/or “other” unfocussed email folder for your registration link for the SGMM and for Helios balloting before contacting CUPE staff. Thank you!

Strike Vote- SGMM and Voting Information

Brad WalchukUncategorized

It has come to our attention that certain settings in both Outlook and Gmail may have caused a recent email communication (dated Friday, Oct. 9) regarding tomorrow’s SGMM and the impending strike vote to be filtered into your spam, promotions, or “other” unfocussed inbox folders. Please check these folders if you have yet to see an email from the sender “CUPE 3906” and with the subject line “PRE-REGISTER for our SGMM…” In any case, we are including much of the content from Friday’s communication below, just to ensure that we reach as many Unit 2 members as possible.


1) Confirmation of your Zoom meeting registration (including the meeting invitation), after you have registered via this link.

2) A voter registration email from Helios Voting, which will be sent to all eligible Unit 2 members on Wednesday. *Note that this will ONLY go to your McMaster email address, so be sure you are checking that (as with the confirmation email from Zoom).*

REMEMBER: A successful strike vote does not mean there will be a strike. It simply authorizes the bargaining team to call a strike should negotiations fail. In other words, a strong “yes” vote puts the Union in the best possible position to secure a good deal without needing to call a strike. This is where the strength of collective bargaining is found!

Special General Membership Meeting:
TOMORROW, October 14 at 2 pm
The Unit 2 bargaining team has reached an impasse in negotiations with the Employer and talks are now headed towards conciliation, with a strike vote being held prior to this next step. We are holding a Special General Membership Meeting TOMORROW (Wednesday, October 14) at 2 pm to outline the key issues at stake and ask that you cast your ballot in favour of a strike mandate. At the SGMM, you can expect updates on bargaining, an explanation of the strike vote and potential next steps, and an overview of voting through Helios.

In order to preserve the security and confidentiality of our SGMM, pre-registration for this meeting will be required. Please note that you must register with your McMaster email address no later than 12pm tomorrow. This is the only way we can confirm that you are a Unit 2 member prior to the meeting. Any registration requests made from non-McMaster email addresses will be denied. Please also allow for a delay as each registration must be approved manually, and remember to check your spam/promotions/”other” folders if you have yet to receive confirmation after a couple of hours.

Register in advance for the SGMM here:–hqTMvGtE2WAk3T18KWmWAwC4HYOlm

Want to know more about the issues in advance of the SGMM? Check out our webpage on KEY ISSUES and our U2 STRIKE VOTE FAQ!

Strike Vote for Unit 2 Members:
via Helios Voting, October 14 at 5 pm – October 16 at 5 pm 

As per our bylaws, we will be conducting a strike vote immediately following the SGMM over a period of 48 hours. If you have worked a Unit 2 contract (either as a Sessional Faculty or Hourly-Rated Music Faculty) at any point during the previous academic year (2019-2020) or the Fall 2020 term, then you are eligible to vote. In order to receive the necessary ballot through Helios Voting, you will need to register using your McMaster email address. Please watch your McMaster inbox for the Helios link to register as a voter. This Helios registration process is separate from the Zoom registration required to attend the SGMM (provided above). * Remember to check your spam/promotions/”other” folders if you have yet to receive your Helios voter registration by 5 pm tomorrow. *